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BRAVE GRAHAM LOSES CANCER BATTLE; DAD'S FIGHT: Amazing man who's plight galvanised a town.

INSPIRATIONAL Graham Birch, the Nuneaton dad whose battle against blood cancer galvanised the town, has lost his brave fight for life.

He died yesterday at Nuneaton's George Eliot Hospital, where he was admitted three weeks ago with a serious infection.

Since 50-year-old Graham was diagnosed nearly three years ago with lymphoma, more than 1,000 Nuneaton people have queued up to give a blood sample. They hoped to become a lifesaving cross-match for Graham and others like him.

His family said today they were comforted by the knowledge that at least eight leukaemia sufferers around the country had found a match because of Graham.

Graham and his supporters have helped raise a staggering pounds 40,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust, the charity which keeps a register of all potential bone-marrow donors in the UK.

Sadly, no cross-match was found for the Nuneaton dad because of his rare tissue type - but at least eight leukaemia victims around Britain were matched.

His daughter, Caroline, said today: "He was an inspiration."

Graham's fight... PAGE 2

CAPTION(S):

INSPIRATIONAL... Graham Birch, and (inset) some of the nurses from George Eliot Hospital who helped him set up a donor clinic at Nuneaton Borough football club when he was first diagnosed with leukaemia.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 23, 2006
Words:208
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